Friday, 18 February 2011

My holy trinity: food, photograpy and tart tatin!

For a while now I've been wanting to learn more about photography, and be able to take some decent shots of my food, cakes, friends etc, so today I bit the bullet and bought my first dSLR from those very obliging people at Amazon! Its a canon 550d, and all being well will be with me by 1pm tomorrow! My god that site is good.

I'll be updating the blog with my pictures as I learn the ropes, including any useful tips I pick up along the way! In the meantime, here is one I will aspire to take myself one day:

This is my latest recipe - tamarind, star anise and pear tart tatin, my take on a delicious classic, just with a few extra taste sensations added for good measure...This shot was taken yesterday as part of our new video recipes for the cook school blog (Angela Malik Cook School, where I am pastry chef). I'll be posting links to the videos as they go live in the next few weeks!

So onto the dish:
I started off by marinat?d?ing the peeled and cored pears in some water with lemon juice and a tiny blob of tamarind concentrate, and meanwhile prepared the caramel: 100g sugar, 1 star anise, 1 vanilla pod (seeds removed) in a hot frying pan melted to a beautiful caramel colour, with a generous pinch of sea salt, lemon zest and 1/4 tsp tamarind concentrated added for extra oomph. Stop the caramel with an equal quantity of butter (100g) and stir gently until bubbly.
Add the pears and a tiny spash of the marinade, and then cook on a low heat, turning occasionally until you have beautiful golden caramel pears that look glossy and caramel coated.

Take the pan off the heat, and meanwhile prepare your tins - I used little 4" springform cake tins for indivudal tarts, so removed some of the pears and placed them round side down into the tin. A good 2-3 spoonfuls of caramel sauce on top please too.
Then I rolled out some circles of puff pastry and tucked them on top of the pears, cut a small steam hole and then baked at 200 degrees C for 15 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden.

Turn out immediately, and serve with a dollop of marscapone with vanilla seeds stirred through.

I challenge you to share this dish..
Let me know how you get on!

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